Wide Open (Intervals)

**Hi cats! So in the magazine the music example has a couple typos… GMaj7 in the first two examples should be Gmin7 and CMaj13 in the last example should be Cmin13. Sorry bout that…my mistake on the fine print! Thanks for following, happy shedding…here’s the lesson: PS – you can download the corrected practice sheet below.

Hey Jazz Guy,

I know that wide Intervals are a modern concept, do you have any suggestions for how I can work them into my playing? –Narrow in Nashville

Dear Narrow,

You’re right, wide intervals are modern and not as daunting as you might think. The guitar is a fantastic instrument to explore wide intervals, because the nature of the fretboard makes it physically easy play them. There are a few simple techniques you can practice and quickly incorporate into your performances. Octave displacement is a great way to give the quirky modern feel of wide intervals. Ex 1 is a simple IIm7 V7 line. Then in Ex 2 we will transpose up or down by an octave some of the notes so the melody is more disjointed. Even when applied sparingly, octave displacement is very effective. Practicing scales in wide intervals such as in Ex 3 (C Major Scale played in diatonic 7ths) is another technique to build wide interval chops and to get you used to playing them as often as possible. Notice the harmonic difference between scales played in different intervals. Going one step further brings us to the concept of episodes [Ex 4 & Ex 5]. An Episode is a phrase that includes every note of a particular chord scale. By writing phrases that include all 7 notes of a scale, and applying octave displacement, there are endless possibilities for creating slick sounding lines based on wide intervals. Keep in mind you can play linier episodes as well. Shed this hard, as it will take time to get used to this type of playing, but it will be time well spent, as your music will literally open up.

Wide Intervals In-depth

To go further with this topic, it is important to develop your technique enough to play these kinds of intervals easily. Start by practicing the scales in intervals, and then work your way through some chord progressions. Most importantly, take everything SLOWLY, so that you really train yourself to hear these types of lines. The more difficult it is to sing, the harder it will be to imagine, and thus to play.

Once you can play some of these types of lines, add them into your playing one at a time. One phrase or measure at a time and it will give a great contrast to the rest of the music. The more dramatically you set up wide interval playing, the more effective it can be!

Good luck jazz guy!!

Link to PDF Example: HJG – Wide Open Intervals

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Categories: Philosophy/Technique, Specifically Soloing

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